March 31, 2010

Total purse of US$28,000 up for grabs at EUSPBA Champs – but you’ll need to be a member

Not since the PipeFest competitions in Chicago in the early-1980s has such a large total of prize money been on offer for winning pipe bands, and an overall purse of US$28,000 will be there for the taking through four grades of events at the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association Pipe Band Championships. A combined $10,000 is to be won in Grade 1 alone.

As in the past, the competition will be open only to bands that are paid-up members of the EUSPBA, and, if they want to compete, they need to join by May 1, 2010, with rosters of band members received by June 1st. EUSPBA band membership dues range from $125 to $200, depending on the time of year they are paid.

The EUSPBA last ran an association championship in 2007, under a relatively complex qualifier process. The 2010 event is the first to include a Grade 1 competition.

Part of the established Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival, the competition will be held on July 17th in Florence, Massachusetts, a town of about 11,000 lying approximately 160 kilometres west of Boston. While prize money is high, no travel allowance is being provided to bands.

Monetary prizes (all in US$) are:

Grade 1: 1st $5,000, 2nd $3,000, 3rd $2,000

Grade 2: 1st $4,000, 2nd $2500, 3rd $2,000

Grade 3: 1st $3000, 2nd $2,000, 3rd $1,000

Grade 4: 1st $2,000, 2nd $1,500, 3rd $500

The Chicago competitions of the 1980s offered a US$5,000 first-prize in Grade 1, worth about $5,500 in 2010 currency. More recently, Lomond & Clyde Pipe Band’s 10th Anniversary Invitational Competition awarded £2,500 to the winners, House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead.

Simon Fraser University reportedly  received £1,000 for winning the 2009 World Pipe Band Championships. The World’s, and almost all pipe band competitions around the world, do not require a non-member bands to join the sanctioning association, opting instead to follow a policy of membership reciprocity with accredited organizations.


  1. It appears I am having a senior moment”. July 10 is Grandfather Mountain not the 17th. Sorry for jumping to conclusions. How’s this; too bad it is on the same day as Cambridge Highland Games

  2. I can understand why it might remain to be confusing to some people but this is an ASSOCIATION and not an AREA contest. Having said that, the fact that money generated by MEMBER BANDS from Florida to Texas to Ohio to Maine is being used for the prizes and no travel money is being offered at all, makes this an ASSOCIATION contest in name only.

  3. Seems kind of odd to pick the same day as Grandfather Mountain, NC. Oh well, one is focused on bands, the other on solo’s, should work out, I guess. The Scot in me seems to think it is a lot of coin to offer from the association for a band competition, championship or not. I remember another big dollar day years ago, Vail, Colorado, all talk no money at the end of the day, well at least for the bands. That was a different association and organization. Good luck to all, sounds like a fun event. Would like to be on the winning end of that purse. I hope the association puts as much coin to the developement programs as they do to the devoped results that play in these bands. Big Al, you seem to have a lot of capitals in your response, settle down, your gonna have a heart attack. Calum Mc Cheap

  4. It is sort of like a branch quartet contest right? Bands that are memebrs of the branch compete in it. Mind it does seem weird that outside bands have to pay another membership to join. Wouldn’t they be better just welcoming guests??

  5. Are bands actually allowed to register with two different societies? And if they can, would it be possible to register at different grade levels? This protectionism wave that is sweeping the piping world lately could open Pandora’s Box, if we’re not careful.

  6. It’s a great concept. To a point. What is disappointing is the exclusive nature of entry. Nth America has long lectured the RSPBA over the same sort of thing. In this particular event, we see a huge budget that would have facilitated a ‘this is how you do it’ event that could be held up against the worlds. Instead, it has stooped even lower than the draconian RSPBA with even more conditions. I wish it well – you’ve got start somewhere – but hope that it opens up to the world of pipe bands a whole lot more. If not, it’s just a ‘club gathering’ that holds no credibility because not everyone was there.

  7. I agree with Al McMullin on this one. I think this could be a good idea, but could have benefitted from more planning and input from the association membership. That said, I hope it is successful with lots of bands from outside the conventional EUSPBA membership – otherwise it’s gonna be an awfully small grade 1 and 2 entry.

  8. Hi Dartmouth, Would this be the association where we have over 2000 soloists, and over 200 bands, and MAYBE 50 people show up for the AGM? If it’s the same one, then I’d say that the membership elects the people that they think will act in what they feel are the best interests of said association. Any time the membership feels that isn’t happening, then they are free to elect new leadership and carry on smartly. Some are arguing that it’s out of line to spend so much on a Championship of this nature, but I think it beats the pants off a Championship that benefits only a few Grade III bands, and is a WHOLE lot better use of the money than spending $30,000 a year on holding meetings as has been the case in the past.

  9. $30,000.00 on holding meetings? Yikes! Ever heard of the Internet (oh, yeah, we’re using it now!) and teleconferencing? Net meeting? Etc? Agreed…$30K is MUCH better spent fostering the art via prize money vs filling a room with circular arguments and alot of hot air……….



Forgotten Password?